Agribusiness firm InspiraFarms opens regional office in Harare

ZIMBABWE – InspiraFarms is expanding its presence across Africa with the establishment of a regional office representation for Southern Africa, based in Harare, Zimbabwe. InspiraFarms’ team designs first-mile, on-farm pre-cooling cold chain and food handling solutions, which are made up of the best European technologies. Zimbabwe has become a key market for InspiraFarms, with the Zimbabwean horticultural sector growing rapidly in response to the increasing demand for fresh fruit and vegetables in the European Union (EU), UK, Middle East, Far East and regional markets. The expansion in demand is also…

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James Finlay divests from flower business with sale of Kericho farm

KENYA – Black Tulip Group has bought Kericho-based flower farm from James Finlay Kenya for an undisclosed amount as the latter focuses on its tea and coffee business. The sale will see workers at the Lemotit farm in Londiani, Kipkelion East, which produces roses and cut flowers for the United Kingdom and European markets, declared redundant. “The sale of Lemotit farm marks the end of Finlay’s restructuring to concentrate fully on the beverage market,” said Stephen Scott, Finlay Flowers General Manager. Black Tulip is expected to take over the business…

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Kenya Breweries unveils US$9.2m fund to boost sorghum production

KENYA – Leading alcoholic brewer Kenya Breweries Limited (KBL), has unveiled a KSh1 billion (US$9.2 million) fund to promote commercial production of a traditional sorghum variety that has been found a suitable alternative for brewing Senator Keg brand. The Nairobi Securities Exchange-listed brewer is targeting to recruit more than 15,000 farmers in western Kenya in its latest efforts to ramp up production volumes and the funds will be used in the promotion and provision of seeds and for buying sorghum from the farmers. According to KBL western regional agribusiness manager Eliud…

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TADB, Clinton Development Initiative partner to unlock soybean value-chain in Tanzania

TANZANIA – Tanzania Agricultural Development Bank (TADB), has entered into a strategic partnership with the Clinton Development Initiative (CDI), an initiative of the Clinton Foundation, that will allow the agri-bank to disburse up to TZS1.15 billion (US$500,000) to unlock the soybean value-chain in Iringa Region, Tanzania. According to the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between the two parties, the partnership aims at enhancing financial accessibility to 29 Agriculture Marketing Cooperatives (AMCOs), which will impact 2,900 CDI supported farmers engaged in the production and marketing of soybeans, for a period of…

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IDH Farmfit Fund’s US$118.7m gets contribution from FMO, Rabobank for small-scale farmers in Africa

AFRICA – IDH Farmfit Fund, the catalyzing smallholder finance facility of IDH has received financial support from the Dutch development bank FMO and Rabobank, each investing €10 million (US$11.8m). The IDH Farmfit Fund, with backing from public and private organizations, makes it possible to provide financing for small-scale farmers in developing countries. By covering any initial losses on loans, the fund allows banks to provide financing for this sector with ease, acting as a bridge between small-scale farms and financial services. It also invests in innovative companies that develop solutions…

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Seed Co completes US$12m seed drying plant in Zimbabwe

ZIMBABWE – Seed producer, Seed Co Zimbabwe has completed setting up its new US$12 million artificial seed drying plant at Stapleford, Mt Hampden, Zimbabwe which will enhance early seed availability for sale post-harvest. The group is also looking at increasing the capacity of the artificial seed drying facility in Harare, as well as replicating it in the region. The company’s Chief Executive Morgan Nzwere said during the group’s analysts briefing that: “The artificial seed drying plant was successfully completed at Stapleford, which can do 5,000 tonnes. It will allow us…

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AgDevCo expands portfolio to develop banana industry in Mozambique

MOZAMBIQUE – Social impact investor AgDevCo has announced its latest investment in Mozambique’s agribusiness sector. The UK-based social impact investor has closed a US$3 million debt investment in Quinta da Bela Vista Limitada (QBV), an irrigated banana estate located in the Boane area in Mozambique. QBV was established in 2016 as a joint venture between Silverstreet Capital’s Silverlands I Fund and Crookes Brothers Limited (JSE: CKS) and currently comprises 128ha of irrigated bananas. QBV’s strategy is to expand the operation to 260ha over the next two years. Crookes Brothers have a proven track record in…

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Impact investor AgDevCo backs Kenya based aquaculture firm Victory Farms with multi-million dollar investment

KENYA – Social impact investor working in the African agriculture sector AgDevCo, has announced a multi-million-dollar mezzanine debt investment in Victory Farms, a rapidly growing aquaculture company in Kenya. AgDevCo’s investment will support the company’s continued growth and impact, including the construction of a feed mill and expansion into new countries in the East Africa region. For decades, the wild catch from Africa’s Great Lakes have been declining, with the result that local markets rely on imported frozen fish, often of low quality and Victory Farms saw an opportunity to supply affordable protein to consumers…

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ICAC join hands with ITC to boost smallholder cotton yields in Zambia

ZAMBIA – The International Cotton Advisory Committee (ICAC) signed an MOU with the International Trade Centre (ITC) to double the yields of more than 50,000 smallholder cotton farmers for the next three years in Zambia.   The effort, which is part of a larger agreement between the ITC and the European Union for support in Zambia, will see ICAC involve two of its most advanced technologies – the interactive, voice-based Soil & Plant Health app, and the Virtual Reality Cotton Training Program. “ICAC’s pragmatic approach to increasing yields complements our…

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AGF in pact with TADB to boost agribusiness financing in Tanzania

TANZANIA – The African Guarantee Fund for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (AGF) and Tanzania Agricultural Development Bank (TADB) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that allows the bank to disburse up to US$20 million worth of loans to agribusinesses in the country. The MoU will enable the bank to guarantee SMEs in the agri-value chain in applying directly for loans at the bank. Gracing the event, the commissioner for financial sector development from Tanzania’s Ministry of Finance and Planning, Dr. Charles Mwamwaja, said the partnership was a boon to…

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